The continual passage of winds laden with dust has scaled and worn away the face of the rocks, so as to leave only the denser veins of stone, and thus have reappeared strange architectural fantasies such as Matter, in the beginning, might have dimly conceived. Subsequently the sun of Egypt has lavished on the whole its ardent reddish patines. And now the mountains imitate in places great organ- pipes, badigeoned with yellow and carmine, and elsewhere huge bloodstained skeletons and masses of dead flesh.
Outlined upon the excessive blue of the sky, the summits, illumined to the point of dazzling, rise up in the light–like red cinders of a glowing fire, splendours of living coal, against the pure indigo that turns almost to darkness. We seem to be walking in some valley of the Apocalypse with flaming walls. Silence and death, beneath a transcendent clearness, in the constant radiance of a kind of mournful apotheosis–it was such surroundings as these that the Egyptians chose for their necropoles.
La Mort De Philae, Pierre Loti, 1924
In ancient times, the Valley of the Kings was known as The Place of Truth. It is where the modern traveller comes face to face with the inevitability of death and the reality of continued existence in other worlds.
The kundalini force has been much on my mind recently. It feels to me that we need to raise kundalini energy to irradiate every cell in our body and the spaces inbetween to assimilate the higher dimensional frequencies now available. And that we need to ground these into every day reality. Otherwise they will remain forever potentiality rather than actuality.
I’ve always found the Valley of the Kings to be a very high energy place. But, as I gazed at El Qurn, the natural pyramid-shaped mountain that towers over the ancient burial place of the Egyptian pharaohs, I suddenly realised that the Egyptians encoded the kundalini force into the landscape as well as their literature. I was already aware that the Nile was a source of kundalini, the watery spine of the country, but as I looked around this expanded rapidly into the landscape around it. I remembered how I had viewed it from a balloon on an earlier trip. This picture captures that moment perfectly.
A snake is the most ancient representation of kundalini and the serpent is everywhere in the tombs. On the walls and sargophagi, but it’s in the coils of the valley itself. El Qurn was associated with my old friend the goddess Hathor and also the cobra goddess Meretseger. Meretseger means “she who loves silence” which is fitting for that remote spot. A local deity for the Theban Necropolis, she was considered to be both a dangerous and merciful goddess rather like Sekhmet and indeed in one ancient stele she is described as striking an offender like a lion. She kept you on the right path. Near El Qurn’s highest point a plate-shaped rock formation projects a few meters from the side of the hill. Since ancient times this has been seen as a cobra’s hood – you can see it in the lithograph at the start of this blog. But you can see how her coils slither down the mountain and through the valley, bringing new life to those buried there.
The ‘literature of the afterlife’ as the funerary texts have come to be known is incredibly shamanic. The soul, or solar principle, is given instructions for safe traverse through multi-dimensional realms – and is often shown riding on a snake through a maze fighting off his enemies as he goes. An elaborate internal game of snakes and ladders through the psyche and underworld. Perhaps the time has come to re-vision these texts as instructions on how to raise kundalini and attain what our tour guide called not the afterlife but the ‘second life.’ A revitalised lifeforce.
Egyptologist Alexandre Piankoff describes the sun-god Ra as ‘the cosmic principle of energy who manifests himself in his numerous bodies… the creation is continuous: it is the flow of living manifestation towards extinction – death. But out of death a new Ra is born, sprouting new life. Kundalini by any other name?
More about these shamanic texts tomorrow.
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